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Septiembre 02, 2004

Vuelan los cuchillos

Los republicanos sacaron los cuchillos en la noche de ayer, según el titular de la BBC. Uno de los oradores estuvo a punto de acertarle en plena cara al presidente de EEUU. El senador demócrata Zell Miller (demócrata, pero tan cabreado con los demócratas que se ha colocado a la derecha de Bush) elevó su voz para enarbolar su condición de ex marine con estas palabras:

Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator. And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators.

Bueno, su nuevo jefe vino a decir eso hace unos meses:

Finally, the attitude of the Iraqis toward the American people... it's an interesting question. They're really pleased we got rid of Saddam Hussein. And you can understand why. This is a guy who was a torturer, a killer, a maimer; there's mass graves. I mean, he was a horrible individual that really shocked the country in many ways, shocked it into a kind of... a fear of making decisions toward liberty. That's what we've seen recently. Some citizens are fearful of stepping up. And they were happy... they're not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either. They do want us there to help with security, and that's why this transfer of sovereignty is an important signal to send, and it's why it's also important for them to hear we will stand with them until they become a free country.

Supongo que eso convierte a las tropas de EEUU en ocupantes liberadores o libertadores ocupantes.

Volviendo a los cuchillos, algunos no tienen muy claro que los cortes que hicieron anoche sean muy profundos. El corresponsal de The Times en Washington no cree que la imagen siniestra del vicepresidente Cheney sea muy atractiva para la mayoría de los votantes:

In 2004, Mr Cheney is no longer an obvious asset. Indeed he has become something of a liability. To many Americans he looks less like a wise, kindly uncle and more like the slightly sinister relative who sits in the corner at family reunions muttering into his tea about declining standards and fractious children.

His reputation as a Rasputin-like figure, secretly controlling President Bush from his secure, undisclosed location, his connections to Halliburton, the company that has benefited substantially from Iraq-related contracts, and his stern advocacy of US military force, especially against Iraq, have eroded his popularity.

¿El pariente ligeramente siniestro que murmura desde una esquina en las reuniones familiares contra los tiempos que vivimos y los excesos de los jóvenes? Parece que el sarcasmo estilo Michael Moore empieza a hacer estragos en la prensa conservadora.

El análisis que hace Dick Meyer, de CBSNews.com, tampoco es muy favorable. No descubrió en el discurso de Cheney nada sobre lo que el equipo de Bush hará si gana las elecciones:

There was not a single word about what the nation might expect from the administration in a second term on any domestic issue, be it Social Security, same sex marriage, tax cuts, deficits? anything. Nothing about reforming the intelligence apparatus in this country. Indeed, nothing about dealing with North Korea or Iran or even Iraq with any specificity at all. The three paragraphs about education, economics and health were, obviously, a joke.

Sólo mano dura. De eso se trataba.

Una de las intervenciones de Cheney más celebradas por la audiencia fue el ataque a John Kerry por negarse, supuestamente, a que las tropas norteamericanas en Irak contaran con los medios necesarios para llevar a cabo su misión, incluidos los chalecos blindados que protegen la vida de los soldados:

Senator Kerry also takes a different view when it comes to supporting our military. Although he voted to authorise force against Saddam Hussein, he then decided he was opposed to the war, and voted against funding for our men and women in the field. He voted against body armour, ammunition, fuel, spare parts, armoured vehicles, extra pay for hardship duty, and support for military families.

Lo que me recuerda que hace un año muchas familias estaban enviando por correo a los soldados en Irak los chalecos blindados que pudieran protegerles de disparos de fusiles de asalto, ya que tenían que conformarse allí con una protección menor:

Many of our troops in Iraq have not been issued body armor that can withstand assault rifle rounds. Heavy-duty ceramic-plated vests, known as "interceptors", have not been issued to 44,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Instead, they are stuffed with the standard-issue Kevlar vest. Kevlar is highly effective against shrapnel, but not assault rifle bullets. Soldiers with the new vests can use multiple ceramic plates to safely withstand machine-gun and rifle fire.

Hasta que las protestas de las familias hicieron que el Pentágono aumentara la producción de los chalecos requeridos y el Senado aprobara el 23 de agosto una enmienda por la que se reembolsaría a las familias que los hubieran comprado por su cuenta (gasto estimado: unos 600 dólares).

Uno que debe estar contento con las palabras de Cheney debe de ser el ex general de marines Anthony Zinni. Tras dejar su puesto en la Administración de Bush como enviado especial para Oriente Medio, Zinni criticó con dureza la invasión de Irak y la pésima preparación de la guerra, incluida la estrategia de Rumsfeld de no enviar un número suficiente de soldados para pacificar el país después del fin de los combates:

In the lead up to the Iraq war and its later conduct, I saw at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility, at worse, lying, incompetence and corruption. I think there was dereliction in insufficient forces being put on the ground and fully understanding the military dimensions of the plan. I think there was dereliction in lack of planning.

Pero ya basta de tanto comentario subversivo. Potus acaba de entrar en el edificio.

Posted by Iñigo at Septiembre 2, 2004 06:38 PM

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Al final, mucha imagen siniestra de Cheney, pero el auténtico salvaje fue el senador Miller, y sobre todo después del discurso. En las entrevistas que concedió a las cadenas de TV por cable, llegó a amenazar a un presentador de la MSNBC con retarle a un duelo porque no hacía más que interrumpirle:MILLER: Get out of my face! If you're going to ask me a question, step back and let me answer. I wish we lived in the day when you could challenge a person to a duel. Now that would be pretty good. Se puede leer el encontronazo en http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ericzorn/chi-zornlog.story#zellCon los de la CNN, Mad Max Miller no llegó a plantear la elección de florete o sable, pero sí se metió en problemas cuando los periodistas le preguntaron si sabía que Bush también había definido en una ocasión como ocupación la presencia norteamericana en Irak. Esta vez, Miller optó por escurrir el bulto:JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: You also were, I would say, almost indignant that anyone would possibly call America military occupiers, not liberators, on at least four occasions. President Bush has referred to the presence of American forces in Iraq as an occupation, and the question is: Are you not selectively choosing words to describe the same situation the president of the United States is describing?MILLER: I don't know if the president of the United States uses those words, but I know Senator Kennedy and Senator Kerry have used them on several occasions.GREENFIELD: Yes. So has President Bush.MILLER: Well, I don't know about that.GREENFIELD: Well, we'll...Y más problemas cuando le recordaron que Cheney, en su época de secretario de Defensa, también se opuso a la fabricación de ciertos aviones de guerra, como había hecho Kerry en el Senado:WOODRUFF: But do you simply reject the idea that Vice President Cheney, as Wolf said and as we know from the record, also voted against some of these systems?MILLER: I don't think Cheney voted against these. BLITZER: No, but he opposed some of them when he was the defense secretary, and sometimes he was overruled by the Congress because he was concerned, he was worried that the defense of the United States could be better served by some other weapons systems, not specifically those. I'm specifically referring to the B-2 and the F-14 Tomcat.MILLER: I'm talking about John Kerry's record. I'll let Dick Cheney, the vice president, answer those charges. He knows what happened in the Department of Defense years ago. I don't know that.But I do know, because I've looked it up and it's there for everyone to see, that he (Kerry) voted against those positions as far as those weapons were concerned. He voted against all the weapons that really won the war against Communism, the Cold War and that are now winning the war on terror.La transcripción de la entrevista de la CNN está en http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0409/01/se.03.html

Posted by: Iñigo at Septiembre 2, 2004 07:22 PM

Excelente post, felicidades. Está bien estructurado e, inferencias aparte, la entrada con la cita de Miller y el contraste de la de "su nuevo jefe" es muy bueno.De paso, no veo por qué dices que "basta ya de comentarios subversivos". To make a point may not be the reporting but it can be very good journalism... Yo creo, aunque a menudo no esté de acuerdo contigo al 100%, que tienes un buen futuro como editorialista, especialidad que quizá le va mejor al genio hispánico que el reportaje que siempre exige un especial dandysmo que es más anglo-sajón (¿conoces la crónica de Hemingway en la guerra civil española que abre con las huellas de las cadenas de los tanques ?). Me gusta -te lo digo sin sarcasmo- tu forma apasionada de making a point. Aunque, como dicen en España, debes hacer un esfuerzo decidido para cuando señalas a la luna que la gente no se te quede mirando al dedo. Finalmente, ese es el secreto del periodismo.Un saludoPS. Echa un vistazo al Presidential Tracker de hoy.

Posted by: Juan A. Hervada at Septiembre 3, 2004 03:52 AM